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Sep 12, 2014

Draghi promises ‘big’ ABS program but says reforms key

MILAN Italy (Reuters) – European Central Bank President Mario Draghi promised on Friday that the ECB’s planned asset purchase program would be “big” but stressed that only structural reforms by governments could revive the moribund euro zone economy.

The ECB has committed to buy asset-backed securities (ABS)and covered bonds as well as offering more cheap loans to banks targeted at boosting lending to companies.

Sep 9, 2014

Italy PM Renzi says growth will be around zero this year

ROME, Sept 9 (Reuters) – Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi
said on Tuesday that the country’s economic growth would be
about “zero” this year, a sign the euro zone’s third-biggest
economy is struggling to climb out of its third recession in six

Renzi’s forecast is far lower than the government’s
previous prediction for a 0.8 percent increase. Renzi also
signalled that Spending Review Commissioner Carlo Cottarelli
would likely be leaving his post soon.

Aug 31, 2014

Mogherini must win over doubters as EU foreign policy chief

ROME, Aug 31 (Reuters) – Federica Mogherini must show she
has the experience and clout to succeed as the European Union’s
new foreign policy chief, just as her predecessor had to
overcome a reputation as a diplomatic lightweight.

The 41-year-old career politician, who became Italian
foreign minister only in February, has been seen throughout her
career as a politician who prefers to skirt controversy rather
than take tough policy stands.

Aug 29, 2014

Italy’s Renzi tries new reform plan as economy sinks

ROME, Aug 29 (Reuters) – Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on
Friday presented a plan to quicken the pace of Italian justice
and break down bureaucratic obstacles to investment as fresh
data pointed to a further deterioration in Italy’s recession
bound economy.

The 39-year-old prime minister, due to attend a European
Union summit in Brussels on Saturday, needs to restore
international confidence in Italy and show he can make good on
repeated pledges to revive growth and turn ambitious reform
promises into concrete results.

Aug 28, 2014

Italy’s Renzi aims to lay down marker with justice, school reform

ROME (Reuters) – Prime Minister Matteo Renzi returned from holiday this week with his customary vim, tweeting that he was back at work on a new plan to speed up Italy’s sluggish justice system, reform its schools and spur investment.

With Italy in recession for the third time in six years, Renzi badly needs to restore waning international confidence and show that he can finally come good on his repeated pledges to revive the eurozone’s third-largest economy.

Aug 27, 2014

Italy says will cut growth forecast, consumer morale falls

ROME, Aug 27 (Reuters) – Italy admitted on Wednesday its
hopes for a sustained recovery from recession had been too high
and called for a joint European solution to stubbornly low
growth, as new data compounded the economic problems of Prime
Minister Matteo Renzi.

Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan said Italy must cut its
official growth forecasts and called for a “European vision” for
reforms. The Italian economy fell back into recession in the
second quarter.

Aug 25, 2014

Italy finds six more dead migrants, adding to weekend death toll

ROME, Aug 25 (Reuters) – Italy’s search and rescue services
have found six more bodies in the Mediterranean to add to the
death toll of 19 over the weekend, the navy said on Monday, with
no let-up in the record numbers risking the perilous crossing to
Europe from Africa.

The navy said it had rescued almost 4,000 migrants over the
weekend and Italian vessels were continuing to look for victims
of a boat which capsized north of the Libyan coast on Sunday

Aug 24, 2014

Europe fears deflation as Ukraine stays centre-stage

ROME, Aug 24 (Reuters) – The euro zone’s growing fears of
deflation will be stirred again on Friday when preliminary
consumer price data for August is issued, with signs the
European Central Bank could be looking at bolder steps to help
the region’s stagnant economy.

Analyst polled by Reuters forecast the annual inflation rate
to slip to 0.3 percent from 0.4 percent in July, falling even
further below the ECB’s target of below but close to 2 percent
and mired deep in what the bank calls the “danger zone”.

Aug 15, 2014

Italy says two boat migrants die, 1,500 saved as total passes 100,000

ROME, Aug 15 (Reuters) – Two boat migrants died among almost
1,500 rescued by Italy in the last 24 hours, authorities said on
Friday as the total number reaching Italian shores this year
passed 100,000.

Italy’s interior minister said it was “proud to be saving
lives” of migrants who have been streaming out of North Africa
in rickety boats in increasing numbers for years and without its
efforts the Mediterranean would have become a “lake of death”.

Aug 8, 2014

Italy approves economic package amid scepticism, recession

ROME (Reuters) – Italy has pushed through a package of support measures for the economy that offers some help to businesses, but pressure is rising on Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to take more significant steps to pull the country out of recession.

Among the more significant measures in the package, approved by parliament late on Thursday, are a reduction in energy costs for small and medium-sized companies, a tax credit for firms that make new investments in machinery and new rules allowing insurers and credit funds to lend directly to business.